Food and knowing what to eat (or when to eat it) is just as important as brushing or visiting your dentist. Knowing what to stay away from isn’t enough, you should also be aware of what foods are beneficial to your oral health, and how to make them part of your daily diet. Without further ado, here is a list of the best and worst food for your teeth:
The good foods
- Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables: Fiber-rich foods have a detergent effect in your mouth, counteracting the effects of harmful foods, which is why the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends having a significant portion of vegetables or fruits with every meal. Additionally fruits and vegetables promote salivation, which is the most effective cleaning method after dental care. Saliva reduces the effects of acids and enzymes attacking your teeth or eroding the enamel, helping you protect your teeth while you eat.
- Green and black tea: Teas in general have polyphenols, a substance that attacks plaque bacteria. This prevents the bacteria from growing and producing the acids that weaken teeth and eventually lead to cavities or infections.
- Cheese, yogurt, and dairy products: The calcium found in cheese and phosphates found in dairy products protect your denture by replenishing lost minerals which strengthen your teeth.
- Foods with fluoride: Fluoridated drinking water or any product with high amounts of fluoride is a godsend to your teeth. Avocados, Radishes and Lettuce are excellent sources of fluoride.
- Sugar-free chewing gum: Chewing gum not only helps with anxiety, but it’s also an excellent salivation inducer and a good cleaning method when you absolutely cannot brush. Since chewing is sticky it helps pick up residue that would otherwise stay in your mouth for the rest of the day.
- Water: A natural source of fluoride and an easy way to rinse your teeth after a meal.
The bad foods
- Anything that dries your mouth: Alcohol for example (and some drinks like wine also stain your teeth), anything that stops your natural salivation creates an opportunity for bacteria to breed.
- Sticky candies and sweets: While sugar is always an issue, sticky candies are the absolute worst, the longer a sugary product stays in your mouth, the worst it is, so avoid lollypops, caramels and even mints.
- Carbonated soft drinks: Not only is the sugar intake off the charts, but the phosphoric and citric acids present in most drinks attack and degrade the enamel
- Starchy food: Soft breads and potato chips get stuck between your teeth, and as decomposition sets in, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.
So, should you avoid some foods completely? Of course not, but eat in moderation and be mindful of when and how you eat it, with a few changes in your life you can avoid a lot of the headaches that come with dental problems.